The Jadeite Jewel: The Semifinals, Part 2

Andrelton Simmons standing on a baseball field with a glove on his hand is a web gem waiting to happen, and this winter Braves Journal is going to determine which of his gems is the best of his best—his Jadeite. To see the previous posts in the series, click here.

Semifinals: Taggin’ Fool vs. A League of His Own
Taggin’ Fool

Editor’s Pitch: This astounding tag has gotten a lot of well-deserved publicity. Freeman’s throw was awful on what should have been an easy pick-off play, but through an instinct unique only to him, Simmons was able to apply the tag where he caught the ball–between his legs. I can’t find a clip of it, but I remember later on in that broadcast they showed an angle from centerfield that clearly showed Simmons got the tag down. How he was able to do that will remain one of life’s great unsolved mysteries.

Last Round: Taggin’ Fool beat Glove: Optional 26-12.

A League of His Own

Editor’s Pitch: Simmons was moving toward third base with the pitch, so he had to reverse his direction to get to the ball. He somehow caught the ball anyway, managed to beat the runner to second, then threw to first while his entire body was still heading toward right field, and somehow got enough on the throw to turn a double play. In a tie game. In the bottom of the 14th inning. He’s not fair. He’s really just not fair.

Last Round: A League of His Own beat You Shall Not Pass 29-15.

51 thoughts on “The Jadeite Jewel: The Semifinals, Part 2”

  1. Gotta go with the double play. To be able to throw right while moving left like that… Incredible arm strength and body control.

  2. Folty and MANBAN both gave up 5 runs in .2 IP along with 1 K, 2 BB and 3 H. That’s really quite strange.

  3. @5, so you’re saying the 5th starter race is “neck and neck”? Where’s the popcorn munching icon on this thing?

  4. Off-topic, I just started listening to Death of Samantha, a garage rock band from Ohio in the ’80s. They recently reunited and released an album called “If Memory Serves Us Well” — it’s a recording of a rehearsal for their reunion show, in which they blaze through their best songs from the ’80s. It’s really, really good.

  5. Spring training wins and losses don’t matter obviously, but convince me that a -37 run differential is insignificant. That figure, by the way, is the worst in either league by twelve runs. This is going to be the worst Braves team since 1990. An injury to Teheran or Wood and we could make a run at 1988.

  6. Usually for me, spring training sucks because I just want the real season to start already. This year, it sucks because I’m not sure I really want it to start at all.

    Yeah, I remember them. Some of those guys joined Robert Pollard & became a latter-day version of Guided By Voices. Doug Gillard is a really tasty guitarist. The other guy’s good, too, but a bit of a stagehog/poser.

  7. @9 – Spring training stats are meaningless, period. Teheran, Wood, and Miller will be fine but the most they’ve pitched is 3 innings. Our bullpen will be okay. Last time I checked most of the total bullpen failures came from pitchers who won’t make the team. We still haven’t figured out our lineup and a few starters have been out.

    Please don’t misunderstand, I’m not expecting us to be great. I’ve just learned through the years that apart from discovering two or three players (even that is tentative at best) spring training team stats are meaningless.

  8. We were held up by traffic on the way to the Braves-Tigers but arrived just in time to see Folty being lifted in the first. We didn’t get to see him throw a single pitch, but he really looked good getting yanked.

    We did get to see my baby Brave crush Lucas Sims throw hard and wild. He was absolutely crushed by Tiger players of whom I’ve never heard and who looked like they’d be at home in an American Legion tourney.

    Andrelton DHed. He and Freddie got hits and looked pretty good at the plate. However, if Freddie doesn’t lead the majors in OBP this year, our opponents will be pitching to him entirely too much. Our offense in the two games we saw was abysmal, and that’s not being fair to abysmalnicity.

    On a better note, we sat by a Phillies fan mother and a Nats fan son combo. The son conducted a seminar on sabermetrics throughout the game and was an ardent Bryce Harper apologist. Poor Brycie is just misunderstood. What a sweetie-pie he really is!

    The Philly fan mom assured us that however bad we are this year, the Phils will be even worse. We bickered about which team had the better chance to lose 120 this year.

    Best of all, the two of them have to fly home to New Jersey today, so pray for snow.

    All in all, Wednesday and Friday were great days to watch two of the more poorly played baseball games I’ve ever seen.


  9. Ouch coop, you definitely took two for the team. Those games were pretty ugly. Too bad you didn’t go to tonight’s game—Simmons would have made you proud to wear his jersey!

  10. Does anybody know if Charter is having a feud with MLB Network right now and, if so, when they might resolve it?

  11. At the start of last year who would you rather have: Wandy or Aaron Harang? My vote would have probably been Wandy. That being said, Wandy may surprise some people.

  12. Per mlbtraderumors, Brave “counting on non-monetary incentives to help their bid” for Olivera. If there is any truth to the rumor that the Marlins are in on Olivera, we better hope he doesn’t know anything about Miami.

  13. @14-Yeah, I am going to hypothesize that you are flat out wrong. Our run differential currently stands at -41. Here are all the teams that have finished spring training with run differentials of -40 or worse over the past five seasons, with their win totals in the same seasons:

    2010 Washington -50 69 wins
    2011 Cubs -42 61 wins
    Pittsburgh -41 79 wins
    Houston -76 51 wins
    2012 Cleveland -58 68 wins
    Tampa Bay -41 90 wins
    2013 Milwaukee -44 74 wins
    2014 Cubs -42 73 wins

  14. @21

    So, basically, we know the Braves don’t have the highest bid, and we’d assume the non-monetary incentives would be the lack of a state income tax (or would that be considered monetary?), immediate playing time, and playing for a Latin coach. That’s got to be it, right?

  15. @23 – I still say that’s a very small sample size. The average wins over the past 3 years for those teams is 76 and 71 over the past 5. I would agree that the Braves will probably win between 70 and 80 games this year, but I think that will happen whether we outscore our opponents by 40 runs over the rest of spring training or if they outscore us by the same number.

  16. Two weeks or so remain to opening day. I will hope the Braves can patch some of their flaws. If we can’t hit, we really need to be able to catch the ball to give our good pitching a chance, but the defensive efforts I saw were almost as poor as the offense.

    Perhaps the three Johns have some things in the works. If not, there were some bright moments in the 80s.

  17. Some bright moments in the 80s? I guess ’82, and parts of ’83. And, ummm…Griffey, Sr’s three homer day…and…ummm…drafting Glavine and Avery, and trading for Smoltz? Other than that, I got nuttin’.

  18. 25—GA actually has a state income tax. I think the biggest non-monetary thing is that Fredi is Cuban and has long-time connections to the guy/guys that *used to* represent Olivera.

    I’m not holding my breath.

  19. @27, 29. Niekro and Murphy were always a pleasure to watch. As was listening to Skip and Ernie.

  20. @31

    How could I forget GA had a state income tax? I had the pleasure of being a Floridian who was a Georgia employee and paid GA income tax. Lucky me. I think I was thinking about how Farnsworth’s ATL offer was better than NYY’s offer because of the difference in income tax and cost of living.


    I will punch your team in the face with my drafting.

    Fun fact: last year, I was two minutes late to the draft, and my team auto-drafted Kris Medlen. They hadn’t gotten the memo about his season-ending surgery. Oh well; who needs a first round pick?

    But for real, I will burn your team to the ground.

  21. Also, Alex asked me to write up a little something on my tremendous experience at Steinbrenner Field last Thursday. I also took some pictures, but they stunk.

    -GREAT to see so many Braves fans in Tampa at the Yankees’ spring training complex conveniently located in a New York-transplant region. The place was packed, but it was a primetime game between two national brands during the first week of Spring Training during Spring Break.

    -Tyrell Jenkins looks like he’s a future stud. He reminds me of Julio Teheran by mechanics, build, and poise.

    -Also got to see Rio Ruiz. He made a couple routine plays, but that guy has less range than Chris Johnson. The guy seemed to be a statue.

    -Really fun to watch the crowd react to Fredi’s ejection in the first inning. There were obvious feelings of confusion considering Shelby had only thrown a few pitches, but the crowd really got into Fredi’s tirade. He has a much cleaner mouth than Bobby did, thankfully. Come on, there are kids…

  22. @DOBrienAJC: #Braves latest cuts: INF Peraza optioned to Triple-A, RH Jenkins to AA. RH MCabrera and LH Gil to high-A. LH Feigl, C Yepez reassigned

  23. high-A for mauricio and gil? I thought those guys were up in AA by now.

    @Rob Cope

    In that case you’ll have to try to punch me in the face on Opening Night–I think that’s what Ryan C settled on.

  24. #35
    Just like the Braves situation, the 2015 expectations for the Yankees are at a generational low. That’s being reflected in the relative lack of interest in Pinstripe-Land. How do I know this?

    As Yankee season-ticket holders, our group plan (20 games) has always gotten us tickets for every 4th home game, beginning with Home Game #2. Opening Day is never offered & is rarely even available for a decent price on the secondary market. Not so this year.

    No, our group was offered (and offered and offered) opening-day tickets in seats one row behind our regular seats. (Never been to a Yankee opening day, so what the hell, why not?)

    And, coming into this year, more season-ticket holders jumped ship than I can ever remember. We know this because the team gave season-ticket holders a link to a map that gave us an opportunity to upgrade seats & actually pick those seats online. You could see which groups of seats bailed, and there were plenty in our section.

    In the old days, the Yankees were like the cable companies once were. The motto could’ve been: “We don’t care, we don’t have to, we’re the Yankees, somebody will buy these seats if you don’t.” Now, I’d say their customer service has just risen to that of a major airline: They deal with you because they might actually lose customers, something not so easily replenished in the post-Jeter/Rivera era.

    They’ll still draw really well, relative to MLB, and their YES Network still prints money, but the pre-season vibes are at an all-time low.

  25. Braves are really playing the ‘stros tough this spring–another 2-2 tie. These teams could be neck-and-neck all the way this season. Hold onto your hats Barve fans.

  26. P.S.: A coupla’ sweet doubles off the bat of Eury Perez has to put him in front of EYJ in the CF race. I dunno–all I can do is check the box

  27. Georgia native/Braves killer Zack Wheeler out for the season with Tommy John surgery. Mets will probably have Dylan Gee replace him in the rotation.

  28. @38 Eventually the Yanks will need to rebuild the farm like the Braves are doing. They have lost their identify since Jeter and Rivera retired…similar to what the Braves lost after Chipper retired.

    @39 Fredi would tip his cap very often this season.

    @41 The Mets are doomed. Even more so than the Braves!

  29. As an ex-Braves and ex-MLB fan, I came for my once-in-a-blue-moon visit to taunt you stalwarts. Unfortunately it looks so sad around here that I can’t even bring myself to do that.

    Those of you who can hang on as fans through this season have my respect and sympathies. I’m sorry that I just couldn’t stay the course through this mess.

  30. Thank you, slugworth. Without your support, I don’t know if I can carry on through this “life” that I live. Truly, thank you.

  31. #43
    Hey, it’s baseball.

    Been awhile since we went into a season with expectations this low, but it has been worse. Way worse…

  32. ububba, It’s actualy a first for me. It will be ugly but it’s also weirdly relaxing. So be it. I will follow and watch and even make my way to the first series in Miami in three weeks. Go Braves.

  33. While you’re there, see the Everglades (usually the highest confluence of critters on the Anhinga Trail) and check out the Keys while you still can.

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